Lower School

Grades 3 - 5

The Lower School program shepherds IDS students through the process of developing greater independence, responsibility, and self-reliance. Because who a child becomes is as important as what he learns.
IDS emphasizes the importance of strengthening character, affirming emotional responses and helping students to navigate peer interactions. The awe and wonder that began in the EC continues to expand in the LS, as students explore new horizons, hone their academic skills and learn what it means to become a productive and caring member of a broader school community.

Third Grade

Third graders take greater charge of their own learning by cultivating life skills such as organization and time management. Throughout the curriculum, students have the opportunity to create, collaborate, and problem solve as they develop a deeper understanding of core concepts of study. Reading groups gather to discuss historical fiction inspired by the times, while students use online resources to research topics and write expository pieces about their research. In Math, earlier concepts and skills are honed through practice and mapping skills are developed as third graders learn about coordinate graphs and concepts of latitude and longitude. Students are introduced to the use of technology as a learning tool. Third graders engage in a yearlong study of United States history, government and geography—with an emphasis on Connecticut.

Fourth Grade

The Fourth Grade World Tour theme integrates Social Studies and Language Arts curricula. As we travel, we explore the geography of different places while reading fiction and non-fictions materials from these locales. Not only do fourth graders learn about a given place in the world, but they also develop inferential reasoning skills alongside reading comprehension. We work all year to define the term "American” by gaining a better understanding of how and why people from many nations arrived on our shores. Via this study, students gain familiarity not only with the countries explored, but also with the research process and all its facets—primary source exploration, note taking, and information compilation. In math concepts are internalized to better appreciate their relevance in our everyday lives, through direct instruction and hands-on activities. Students develop narrative and expository writing skills and practice each component of the writing process to focus on the essential elements of writing.

Fifth Grade

Fifth Grade supports students in the transition from elementary to middle school. Socially, emotionally, and academically, fifth graders prepare themselves for this important step forward, gain autonomy, and build self-organization skills in an environment that cultivates personal growth. Through highly-integrated study of ancient Greece and Rome students learn to apply critical thinking skills to their reading and writing. Life in the Classical World and its impact on Western culture is explored in whole class and small cooperative polis groups. Students continue to follow the mathematics spiral curriculum which introduces new concepts while reinforcing earlier ones. An important goal is to open students’ eyes to appreciating that math is all around us and by learning the language of math, they can more confidently and successfully integrate concepts to navigate our world.